No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

36 Replies

No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by Meghan Custer on Apr 26, 2017 10:44 am

We absolutely love reading stories from pilots who recently completed their flight review after a long hiatus from flying. Just last week we heard from a pilot who attended a Rusty Pilots seminar in December 2016 - he was proud to report that he received his Flight Review endorsement on April 22, 2017 - after more than 10 years away from the cockpit! Are there any other pilots out there who have recently completed their flight review after a long break?
  • Bookmark

Re: No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by John Reddington on Mar 19, 2018 5:35 pm

OK!  I learned to fly at the age of 28 getting my Private 2 days before Christmas Day 1978.  One week later, New Years Day, our area would start enduring I what I consider to the worst winter so far (My life) and it still remains the worst for this region in my opinion:  The Winter of 1979.  I logged 175 hours by early 1982 and most of it was local type flying in a C-172.  This was in and around an area containing a Class B airport and a nearby naval air station.  Back then the sectional labeled Class B Airports as a "TCA, Group 1."  A coworker had talked me into taking lessons as I had never considered the idea or the subject of flying at all.  I joined a private club (Individually owned) and believe to this day it was the best deal of the time.  The best events were probably all of my flight time!  It was a joy to observe the geography from the air, and more.  Having been a local traveling rep for business, it was great to view all the roads I drove, from the air, and get the "Big Picture."  I also learned a few things from flying--including driving a car (Always stay ahead by watching traffic further down the road from your vehicle).  I gave up flying due to several reasons, one of them was the start of the severe US Recession in Fall, 1981.   
Now 40 years later, I am back as of December 2, 2017 (Same month of the year!).  I am exploring this local area which is 170 miles from where I lived in 1978.  Easier to fly regionally but the club airport is a Class C, and busier than the 2 airports I was accustomed to years ago.  This time, with more free time and a more relaxed environment, I am hoping to really enjoy this comeback as well as making trips, money permitting.  I may even consider getting my Instrument rating if I log hours as I hope to.     

Re: No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by Jan Reyers on Mar 21, 2018 8:37 am

Twenty-seven years after my last flight as PIC, when work and overseas relocations interfered, a return to flying was one of my highest priorities following retirement. I began my homecoming by attending the 2015 AOPA Minneapolis Fly-In Rusty Pilots session. That swept some cobwebs and framed what I needed to relearn. Next step was to join a local flying club, followed by a number of hours of dual and abbreviated ground school review with a uncompromising CFI. The stick and rudder stuff came back easily, but navigation and communications took some practice, especially since the five years previous to my departure those many years ago were flown in my Aeronca Champ 7DC on floats and skis with no radio and the barest of instrument panels in uncontrolled airspace. Since Rusty Pilots, I've gained a glider rating, started work on an instrument rating (just for fun), and barnstormed across the upper midwest, realizing the daydreams of my work life. Thanks, AOPA, for getting it started.

Re: No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by Samuel Parsons on Apr 9, 2018 2:55 pm

24 years out of aviation with a PP and 125 hours of C172 time but aviation was never out of me! Realized I could now afford it, if I could find a great group of people to do it with. Yeah, KCOI, and Servant Air Ministries was my answer to prayer. Great people, great instructors and a great mission to work toward as they are part of Pilots for Christ International. Since I am spritually minded, it is a great fit for me. I had first explored clubs local to Orlando but found their prices to be high, I then looked at soaring as a lower cost way to get my BFR but the travel to a soaring field was nearly an hour with traffic. But that first glider ride was amazing, I will get back to that someday, perhaps if I can fly in to their field to beat the traffic! That is when my prayer to find an affordable place was answered as my internet search found Servant Air Ministries Inc. (SAMI) They have an Aztec, a Beech Sierra and a 172M. I had started the process by doing the head work via AOPA's Rusty Pilot Seminar (twice) and by reading so many good articles on SAFE Pilots and Sporty's and AOPA followed up by the Kings IFR course that I coverted to the Cessna IFR course (by Kings). (The IFR ticket is the next goal after BFR so I am working on both) Then I did an hour in Flight Training Professional's (Orlando - Thanks Ed & Ross) Red Bird Sim to get a sense again of pattern work. Once my head was back in the game I started with flight instruction in SAMI's 172. Oh the rust! The simulator helped but, oh my, I was busting altitudes and haedings even though I delegated the radio work for another day. The 14kt cross wind eliminated any hope of doing landings but the stall work was ok and I began to get a feel for the airplane once again. The second session of flight instruction gave me a sense of hope as the prior learning had not evaporated and I was able to nail the steep turns and managed the stalls. The stabilized approach still eludes me as the last bit of flaps seems to upset my approach. But two reasonable landings give me confidence for my next session. It is coming back but after 24 years I didn't expect the return to be instant.

Having fun!
A big thanks to SAMI and Scott Saunders CFI,
Sam Parsons
PS two layers of rust removed and counting

Re: No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by Hans Van Riet on Apr 13, 2018 12:02 am

On Februari 3rd, I attended a Rusty Pilots meeting at KEMT. Although I posses a CPL with IR (both the FAA and the European versions), I hadn't flown in almost 5 years. The reasons must sound familiar to most of you; family, career, money, time, and most importantly: I missed a flying buddy (M/F). During the meeting the old passion was re-lit and some weeks later, I was able to join a great flying club (The Caltech Flying Club). I'm very happy to share with you that I received a checkout on a C152 and a C172 and completed my Flight Review this week. I can't wait to get back in the air as soon as I receive my keys!

Re: No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by Dennis Mulloy on Apr 16, 2018 8:52 am

Rusty was the right definiton for sure. I grew up in airplanes during the 1960's as a grade schooler riding in the back of my fathers Piper Comanche, and later his Mooney Super 21. It had bright orange wings and funny looking tail. My brothers did not catch the bug, but I sure did. I tagged along with Dad at every opportunity just so I could go to the airport and fly. I was facinated with raising the gear and Dad would let me raise them, but he took care of lowering them. Still to this day, I pause to watch the wheels fold on departing aircraft. By the mid 1970's, at 15 years of age, Dad taught me to fly his Grumman Yankee and I was hooked. While I never soloed before joining the US Navy, I knew one day I would come back to the joy and thrills of flying,

Fast forward 20 years later and I obtained my PP SEL in 1996 at SZP, Santa Paula Flight Center, in Santa Paula CA. Something about flying from an uncrontrolled field ~50 miles from Los Angeles intrigued me. Reminded me of the fields in Alabama I grew up at. Went on to obtain my Iailwheel  and complex endorsements in the Citabria and Mooney M20C at SZP, then my Instrument rating from Channel Islands Aviation at CMA- Camarillo CA. I accumulated 425 hours over a 7 year period up until 2003. During a flight to SBA in a spanking new Cessna Sklylane, fiddling with a GPS and auto-pilot, I came to the conclusion flying was cost prohibitive. No longer was I enyoying the stick and rudder joy of flying that I knew, but instead was engrossed in learning where aviation was rapidly progressing. For the next 14 years, I assumed the role of a husband, father and a newly minted manager at Point Mugu NAS. Not only was my PIC time on hold, but I gave up my postion as a back seat Airborne/Combat photographer in the QF-4J Phantoms. I was offically grounded, and flew a desk until retirement in June 2016, and that is when things changed

We re-located to Tennessee just outside Fort Campbell Ky restricted airspace, but within their MOA. To say the least, there is plenty air traffic in the area. The itch to fly became very strong for a host of reasons. In August 2017 I contacted Harmony Air at John Tune (KJWN) airport in Nashville and scheduled a BFR. More importantly, I needed to do this so I could take Dad flying, just one more time. The biggest change I observed was how the digital world had become such a large component in the cockpit. My CFI even joked about my flight gear like I opened a time capsule, complete with a VFR sectional. He said they make great windshield shades. I became educated on things like Foreflight, ADS-B Out/In using transponder and Stratus. I was amazed at the functionality of the applications on the IPad. And that has led to my purchase of a Piper Cherokee 140 currently in escrow and I have my IPad with Foreflight and Stratus applications standing by.

I took Dad up on that epic flight just like the old days. Dad held mulptiple military ratings while flying aircraft like the L-19 bird dog, Beaver, and the C-45 while in the Army. In the civilain world, he was a CFII and MEI. It's been a long time since he was up in a general aviation plane. I had no greater joy than when we climbed out at KJWN that day, and at about 800' AGL, I looked over and said;

"Dad, your airplane" 



Re: No longer Rusty? Share your story here!

Posted by Richard Gallaher on Apr 16, 2018 1:29 pm

I’m ‘rusty’, but I never really 'stopped flying'. I just stopped doing flight reviews and logging PIC time. I would fly commercially to locations and just rent a plane with an instructor. Most rental places required a checkout so I would just skip the checkout and fly a tour with a local instructor. They know the area and the plane.

The Rusty Pilot Program is good because the ‘required' ground school is covered. I went far beyond a biannual flight check and completely redid all the training courses again through King, ASA, and Jeppesen because I was considering teaching. All before I approached a flight school for a biannual. 

I have recently done my Biannual flight review and have found things are still the same. There are still flight schools looking for extra ground school cash to pilfer from students and long flight reviews (4 hours). I had flown less than a month earlier and that school was ready to sign me off after an hour.... My biannual covered far more time than any previous check ride for adding a rating.